There are dozens of types of heirloom potatoes, which are spuds that have not been genetically altered. These vegetables can be white, yellow, purple, blue, or red in color. Some types are best suited for certain uses, like boiling, baking, or frying. Some common unaltered varieties include yukon gold, arran victory, forty-fold, and gillyflower, to name a few.
Yukon gold potatoes normally have thick, yellow skin that can sometimes appear to be oily or waxy. The flesh color may be white, yellow, or cream-colored. They are normally rather large potatoes that have a buttery taste to them. This makes this variety a good choice for baking, boiling, or mashing.
Heirloom potatoes that are good for making casseroles include the arran victory. This spud normally has a dark purple skin and stark white flesh. They were often enjoyed by the upper-class citizens of the United States during a period known as the Great Depression. They can normally be stored for up to several weeks in a cool, dry location.
Forty-fold is a variety that originated in England. It normally produces tubers there in mid to late September. These potatoes are usually medium-sized, round, and fairly uniform in size and shape. The skins are often white, but can also sometimes be red. They are a good choice for baking or canning.
Gillyflower potatoes are normally white or tan with a white interior. They are often long and oval-shaped, or round. They are usually large spuds that may be flat on one or both sides. This variety is typically very dry, so it may taste best when fried in oil or cooked with butter.
Bees are normally needed to pollinate heirloom potatoes. White flowers usually appear on most varieties in early to mid-summer. This is then followed by the spuds themselves, which are usually ready for harvest in early to mid-fall depending on the location.
Heirloom potatoes are grown by planting seed potatoes that can be purchased from a farm or garden supply store. These are, in fact, regular potatoes that have been harvested especially for replanting. A gardener can cut these spuds into smaller pieces that each contain two or three eyes, which are the inverted dots on the outer skin. These can then be placed in the ground with the eyes facing up, so a new plant can sprout and produce a new crop.
Potatoes that are sold in supermarkets are often sprayed with a chemical to keep them from sprouting. Farmers may also use a number of pesticides on their crops during the growing season. People who plant their own heirloom potatoes can avoid consuming vegetables that might be contaminated with harmful chemicals. This might provide health benefits as well as a better tasting product.